5.11 A.T.A.C 2.0 8″ Boot – Review

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When it comes to guns, nearly everyone has their own “go-to” brand.  Same with ammo.  Soft goods can be a more competitive market, but for years 5.11 has stood head and shoulders above the crowd.  From head to toe, and from casual to heavily tactical, 5.11 makes gear for the casual user and professional alike.  While they’re the biggest kid on the block, anyone can make mistakes.  So is the new A.T.A.C 2.0 boot another success or a misstep from a company conditioned to success?  Read on..

First let’s cover the tale of the tape:

Tech Specs:

  • Full-length dual durometer Ortholite® footbed
  • Full grain suede toe
  • 840D nylon upper
  • Achilles heel flex zone for enhanced comfort & flexibility
  • Shock Mitigation System®
  • Strobel construction
  • Lighter weight upper construction
  • Ortholite® Achilles cuff for comfort
  • YKK® side zipper
  • Slip- and oil-resistant outsole
  • Knife pocket

At first glance the A.T.A.C 2.0 (just ATAC2 from now on) looks like a pretty ordinary tactical boot.  A deeper inspection really shows how much thought and engineering went into the design of this boot.  Comfort and durability apparently snuck away for a romantic tryst, and the ATAC2 is the result.

The sole has excellent grip, and is firm, yet yielding.  There’s great foot support here, but I’m not walking on a plank.

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The insole is similar.  It’s soft and gives some “squish” for foot comfort, but is firm enough you don’t feel like you’re walking on marshmallows.  I was surprised to see it’s just foam.  This whole boot feels like a velvet lined pickup truck.

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I love YKK zippers.  I’m struggling to understand how other zipper manufacturers are still hanging around.  When a boot, tent, or sleeping bag has YKK zippers, it shows a commitment to quality in one of the first areas manufacturers like to cut costs

5.11 Boot5.11 Boot

But a boot’s a boot right?  Well, 5.11 always does their best to make sure their gear stands out, and the ATAC2 is no different.  Little touches like the knife pocket on the side of each boot (really a multipurpose pocket), the heavily reinforced pull straps, and the velcro hook-pile-loop zipper guard really add to the whole package.

Time Spent

Features look great on paper.  But one wrong stitch in a boot means you’ll have a hot spot in a mile, or a blown sole in 50.  Time spent using and abusing a product means more than all the features in the world.

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I was lucky enough to get the 5.11 ATAC2 early enough in Spring that some cold weather was still here on my little mountaintop homestead.  Soon, the wet weather moved in, and now we’re well into some mighty hot days.  So far, the ATAC2 has handled the change in temperature just fine.

These aren’t dedicated winter boots, nor are they minimalist desert boots.  The ATAC2’s are a jack-of-all trades design, and I like them for it.  Hike around the hillside during the days, carrying feed, building materials, and tools.  If they were too hot, they’d be gone.  Likewise if they couldn’t keep the rain and mud out, they’d be gone.  Keeping warm with temps in the 20’s and 30’s isn’t a problem, just loosen the laces a bit and add wool socks.

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It’s been a long time since I was paid to kick in doors.  Since then, Uncle Sam bought be a new, titanium hip, so kicking things isn’t as fun as it used to be.  I’m taking apart an old stable, which includes busting down the old plywood walls.  I’ve kicked in a fair number of them with the ATAC2’s on my feet, which seemed a good way to test the “Shock Mitigation System®”.  A hard sole sends the jolting impact straight to my hip, but the ATAC2 definitely managed to tame the amount of stress tossed onto my metal bones.

When you’re hiking, your feet are the last thing you want to be worrying about.  Once they start burning, blistering, or aching, crap rolls downhill pretty fast.  I’m pretty impressed with the “ride quality” of the ATAC2, it’s like driving on a new pair of quality tires.  The truck (me) might be old and run-down, but those tires are gonna perform for a long time.

 The wrap-up

I review a LOT of gear.  I don’t just use it for a bit, I incorporate each item into my life for a while.  When I have a knife in, it’s the only one I use for months.  A rifle?  That’s the one I have to take on my long-planned hunting trip, like it or not.  Why do I mention this?  Well, I have more boots to start working with once I’m done with the ATAC2, and that pisses me off a bit.  These aren’t just boots I like, they’re my go-to pair now.  They’ve passed my issued OD Green Jungle boots, and my issued Danner Acadia’s.  They’ve passed my Danner Scorch’s and my Merrill hiking shoes.  All the miles I’ve put on them, and they still look new aside from some grass and mud.  These are the most supportive and comfortable footwear I own, bar none.  Now I have to put them in the closet for a while to wear something else, but I’ll tell you this:  I don’t envy the boots that have to follow the 5.11 A.T.A.C 2.0.

5.11’s A.T.A.C 2.0 runs $120, and is available in sizes from 5-15, with regular and E-width options.  Check em out!

Jens “Rex Nanorum” Hammer

@Rexnanorum



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